What is a Structured Settlement?
A Structured Settlement is an alternative to a traditional lump sum cash payment used in the resolution of personal physical injury, wrongful death and workers’ compensation cases. These payments to the injured party, or their survivors, are federal, state and local income tax-free.
The settlement usually consists of two components:
An immediate up-front cash payment to provide for immediate needs and;
A series of future periodic payments, which are funded by the defendant through the purchase of an annuity, or reinsurance, from a highly rated life insurance company.
What advantages does a Structured Settlement offer the Plaintiff?
Payments are excludable from gross income under IRC Sections 104(a)(1) and 104(a)(2)
Prevents the dissipation of settlement funds before required financial needs are met
Receipt of a much larger amount of money than would be obtained in a cash settlement
Plaintiff is protected from outside “investment advisors” or individuals seeking funds
Variable annuity options
Market competitive investment returns
Extremely low risk
No costs or service fees
What Types of cases are candidates for a Structured Settlement?
Lost future income replacement
Continuing future medical expenses
Need for secure, guaranteed and tax-free income
Minors and incapacitated adults
Inexperience in managing large sums of money
Cases requiring preservation of government benefits
Personal Physical Injury
Why are the benefit payments income tax free?
Settlement payments under a workers’ compensation claim or claims for personal physical injury are excludable from gross income of the recipient under Internal Revenue Code Sections 104(a)(1) and 104(a)(2) respectively.
What is a Qualified Assignment?
The Periodic Payment of Judgment Act of 1984 (IRC 130) authorizes a “qualified assignment” of a defendant’s obligations to make future periodic payments to a third party assignee under a Structured Settlement Agreement. Once executed an assignment removes the defendant, and/or the defendant’s insurer, from the obligation to make future periodic payments. This obligation is then assumed by the assignee, which is usually a holding company or affiliated company of the Structured Settlement annuity issuer.
What is the advantage of a Qualified Assignment?
Once the qualified assignment is executed it removes the defendant or the defendant’s insurer from the obligation to make future periodic payments. This transaction may give the plaintiff greater protection by replacing a casualty insurer or self-insured defendant with a large life insurance company (more financially secure) which is then obligated to make the payments
What is a Medicare Set-Aside Trust?
In the settlement of workers’ compensation claims, a properly executed Medicare Set-Aside Trust (MSAT) helps protect a claimant’s future Medicare benefits; as well as, protecting the employer and insurance carriers from exposure under the Medicare Secondary Payer statute. A MSAT must be investigated if the claimant is currently a Medicare recipient at the time of settlement or the claimant is not yet receiving Medicare benefits and the total settlement value is over $250,000 (applicable if the claimant is reasonably expected to become a Medicare recipient within 30 months of the time of settlement).
What is a Qualified Settlement Fund (QSF)?
Qualified Settlement Funds were created by the enactment of IRC Section 468B in January of 1993. It is a special court ordered “safe harbor” to hold settlement funds from one or more settling defendants. The defendant and plaintiff(s) have agreed to the amount the defendant or their insurers will pay to settle the cases collectively, but not individually. The defendant may take a full tax deduction of the amount even prior to all of the claims for the funds being determined and allocated. The assets are not “constructively received” by the plaintiff(s). The QSF may enter into a Settlement Agreement with the plaintiff(s) and execute an IRC 130 Qualified Assignment.
What are the advantages of a Qualified Settlement Fund (QSF)?
The defendant receives a full cash release and a release of its policyholder’s liability. The defendant also receives a full tax deduction on the date the settlement amount is paid rather than when each plaintiff is paid. The plaintiff attorney has greater control of the settlement funds while also allowing more time for determining the proper allocation amounts to their clients. The plaintiffs also benefit by having the time to analyze the various financial planning options available to them before making their final decisions.
What are our fees for services?
You will never receive a bill for our services. Bradford Settlement Company consultants are compensated solely on a commission basis by the companies providing the annuity and trust products we recommend. We are your advisor whose primary goal is to assist you in the successful resolution of your case.
Reasons you should use Bradford Settlement Company.
Experience, innovation and creativity! Bradford Settlement Company’s consultants and administrative staff are among the finest in our profession. Our client services add value to your settlement negotiations. It is difficult at times to make a determination as to who will best serve your interests, and who will provide the most effective assistance in settling your case. While it is easy to tell you what Bradford Settlement Company can do, it is our actual performance that will ultimately convince you of our abilities.